UPDATED: Overcoming Employee Resistance in Adopting a Mobile Time Tracking Application

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Much has changed since we wrote the original post for this subject back in June, 2011. Smartphone sales are expected to roughly double between 2011 and 2015 as shown in the following diagram courtesy of Statista:

Statista estimates that handset penetration per capita in North America is expected to reach 104% by the end of 2015. What all this really means is that mobile technology is much more ubiquitous. The overwhelming portion of the populace has some kind of mobile device.

Combining this with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies that have evolved in the last few years and the fact that much of the work force is younger, contractors are taking advantage of these changes to implement mobile technology in construction at a pace not previously seen. Companies that fail to do so will not remain competitive.

It is common knowledge that mobile time tracking software can improve the productivity and profitability of most construction companies. The contractor must first compare the estimated savings of both time and money with the purchase and operating cost of the new software. Once a positive determination has been made, and the software has been purchased along with any associated hardware and periphery supplies and equipment, then the real work begins – installing the software and getting your employees to use it.

Resistance to change among us homo sapiens is apparently the way we come out of the box. Some of us may be more inherently flexible in our philosophical outlook than others, but we all have some basic level of desire to maintain the status quo, or in other words, to stay in our cozy little comfort zones. The more deeply entrenched we are, the more we resist.

What are the primary causes of employee resistance? There are many, some related to the individual and others more associated with the organization.


  • Control/Fear of the Unknown – People are naturally suspicious of any changes by a company especially how it relates to their job. Will they have a job?  Will it be different that before? There is always an element of trust involved. If their boss has built a strong relationship with them, they are likely to accept change more readily, especially if the change and the reason for it are thoroughly explained to them in advance. If they don’t understand the reasons for and the benefits provided by the change, there will be a natural push back.
  • Motivation – What’s in it for me? Is the technology easy to learn and use? Will it make me better at my job, or at a minimum, make my job easier.


  • Approach
    • Have we included a wide enough representation of the organizational structure in the decision-making process to secure a company-wide “buy-in”?
    • Have we kept the affected employees abreast of all the pending changes?
    • Have we explained well enough, the benefits that will accrue to the affected employees?
  • Training and Technical Support
    • Have we made sure that an adequate amount of time has been allocated for training, and that the training will be done in an environment where the trainees will be relaxed and uninterrupted?
    • Is there adequate support staff available to consult with the trainees as they practice with the system and once they begin to use it?
    • Have we insured that all supervisory staff is well-trained and very knowledgeable of the system?
    • Have we identified “product champions” who are likely to enthusiastically endorse the new software and promote it to others?

Most of the information system implementations that fail are not the victims of flawed technology, but rather of organizational and people-related issues. Communicating the company’s vision for the future is critical in enlisting support for the implementation of new technology. Company leadership should set a good example by becoming actively involved in every implementation. Making workers feel comfortable with their new tools will go a long way toward the successful adoption of new IT.

Implementing mobile time tracking or any other mobile software is a very tricky situation. You can make it much less painful by informing your employees of the changes to come, the reasons for them, and the benefits that will accrue from them – well in advance of the actual implementation.

Have you done your homework?  Our experienced sales professionals can help you learn more about the great benefits available to your company with a mobile time tracking system.

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Workers in hard hats using construction time tracking software